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Botanical exploits: How British plant hunters served science - BBC News
By Helen Briggs
BBC News
10 December 2017
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Image copyrightROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, EDINBURGH AND RHS
Image caption
Plant specimens are pressed under large rocks at George Forrest's campsite in Lichiang Range

In a corner of the Yorkshire Dales, far from the beaten track, you might stumble on the peaceful village of Clapham.
Now known as a stop-off point for exploring the dales, it was once the home of a rock garden full of plants never seen before in the Western world.
Legend has it that the Edwardian plant-hunter Reginald Farrer loaded a shotgun with seeds collected on an expedition to Ceylon and fired them into a rock cliff and gorge.
While the rock garden is long gone, you can still see other specimens brought back by Farrer dotted around the woods beside his family home.
bbc  asia  china  explorer  science  nature  history 
15 hours ago by ndf
In China, a Three-Digit Score Could Dictate Your Place in Society
China's social ranking system is about as close as the world has come to a real life Orwellian dystopia, wherein citizens are ranked and filed according to a broad range of factors that essentially assess one's obedience to the state and its ideology. Even making an 'inappropriate' comment online will set you back, while staying within the bounds of acceptable behavior is rewarded. "For the Chinese Communist Party, social credit is an attempt at a softer, more invisible authoritarianism. The goal is to nudge people toward behaviors ranging from energy conservation to obedience to the Party. Samantha Hoffman, a consultant with the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London who is researching social credit, says that the government wants to preempt instability that might threaten the Party. 'That’s why social credit ideally requires both coercive aspects and nicer aspects, like providing social services and solving real problems. It’s all under the same Orwellian umbrella.'...The State Council has signaled that under the national social credit system people will be penalized for the crime of spreading online rumors, among other offenses, and that those deemed 'seriously untrustworthy' can expect to receive substandard services. Ant Financial appears to be aiming for a society divided along moral lines as well. As Lucy Peng, the company’s chief executive, was quoted as saying...[the social credit system] 'will ensure that the bad people in society don’t have a place to go, while good people can move freely and without obstruction.'" - Mara Hvistendahl, Wired
otf  china  asia  social  privacy 
yesterday by dmcdev
A genetic map of the world – Gene Expression
The above map is from a new preprint on the patterns of genetic variation as a function of geography for humans, Genetic landscapes reveal how human genetic diversity aligns with geography. The authors assemble an incredibly large dataset to generate these figures. The orange zones are “troughs” of gene flow. Basically barriers to gene flow.  It is no great surprise that so many of the barriers correlate with rivers, mountains, and deserts. But the aim of this sort of work seems to be to make precise and quantitative intuitions which are normally expressed verbally.
gnxp  scitariat  commentary  bio  preprint  study  summary  genetics  genomics  pic  data  maps  visualization  stock-flow  gene-flow  walls  world  africa  europe  MENA  india  asia  china  japan  korea  anglo  developing-world  russia  sapiens  gavisti  population-genetics  geography  🌞  mediterranean  britain  oceans 
yesterday by nhaliday
China techs driving data center investment across Southeast Asia
As demand grows throughout Southeast Asia for digital services, Chinese companies are increasingly sought out rather than players like Google or Amazon. E-commerce giant Alibaba, Huawei Technologies, Tencent Holdings, and search engine Baidu are some of the bigger names taking hold. "China's interest is a response to surging demand in Southeast Asia for digital services, including e-commerce, mobile payments, and internet access. Some regional governments are also showing signs of wanting to retain certain data on home turf.

Southeast Asia's internet economy covers everything from games to online travel and ride hailing, and its expected turnover this year is $50 billion. On the present growth trajectory, it should grow fourfold by 2025, according to a joint report by Google and Singapore's Temasek Holdings in December.

The report expects Southeast Asia to have 330 million active internet users by the end of 2017 -- equivalent to the population of the U.S. and 70 million more than in 2015. Sales of goods through e-commerce will reach $10.9 billion in in 2017, almost double 2015." - Jason Tan, Nikkei Asian Review
otf  asia 
yesterday by dmcdev
Accessing Google Scholar under Extreme Internet Censorship: A Legal Avenue (pdf) #research
In China, sometimes sites may be ok to access in terms of legality, but end up inaccessible regardless due to a sort of collateral censorship. Google Scholar is one such example, as it is blocked along with the rest of Google's services, and accessing such sites is "a critical problem," say a group of researchers from Chinese and American institutions. They explore how such sites are accessed, and propose a new technological solution to circumvent censors and access Google Scholar: ". In this paper, we conduct a case study on how scholars from a major university of China access Google Scholar through a variety of middleware. We characterize the common solutions (including VPN, Tor, and Shadowsocks) by measuring and analyzing their performance, overhead, and robustness to censorship. Guided by the study, we deploy a novel solution (called ScholarCloud) to help Chinese scholars access Google Scholar with high performance, ease of use, and low overhead. This work provides an insider’s view of China’s Internet censorship and offers a legal avenue for coexistence with censorship." - Zhen Lu, Zhenhua Li, and Jian Yang of Tsinghua University, Tianyin Xu of UCSD, Ennan Zhai of Yale University, Yao Liu of SUNY Binghamton, and Christo Wilson of Northeastern University
otf  china  access  google  googlescholar  circumvention  gfw  asia  research 
2 days ago by dmcdev
Twitter
Another computer generated exaggerated relief ! This time the image shows maritime Southeast from
space  map  Asia  from twitter_favs
4 days ago by rukku
Open Development Mekong shares open data for South East Asia
Open Development Cambodia (ODC) is an ‘open data’ website, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. It stimulates public demand, builds coalitions, and offers a constantly evolving platform to support the transparent sharing and analysis of data to improve and inform constructive dialogue and decision making for sustainable and equitable development
Cambodia  opendata  maps  statistics  ASEAN  asia  Mekong  SouthEastAsia  vietnam  Thailand  Myanmar 
4 days ago by weitzenegger
ASEAN Statistical Report on Millennium Development Goals 2017 | ASEANstats
This report highlights important areas where ASEAN has effectively managed to bridge and narrow the development gaps between the
ASEAN-6 and the CLMV. In several instances, the CLMV countries have outpaced the ASEAN-6 countries, not only by the 1990 rates
of progress being completed faster, but even passing the level of the ASEAN-6 countries such as in regard to lower rates of maternal
mortality and their higher shares of people with improved drinking water sources. An SDG report will follow in 2018.
ASEAN  CLMV  statistics  Statistiques  mdgs  SDG  asia  Cambodia  Lao  Vietnam  Myanmar 
6 days ago by weitzenegger

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